Party Monster: The Shockumentary

 

“Successful at evoking clubland’s breathless, short-attention span excitement… co-helmers Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato contrive a slick, hip package in Party Monster… it’s an undeniably riveting slice of urban high life.” – Daily Variety

Awards

Best Editing, Emmy Award
Grand Jury Prize, Outfest 1998
Best Nonfiction Film Award, 1999 USA Film Festival

PARTY MONSTER– which screened at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival — tells the story of the rise and fall of Michael Alig, a kid from middle America who aspired to take the place of Andy Warhol. A film by Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, PARTY MONSTER debuted on Cinemax in June as part of the Reel Life series.

Starting out as a teenage bus boy, Michael quickly rose to become the #1 party promoter in New York during the mid-eighties and King of the so-called Club Kids. But after spiraling into drug addiction, Michael brutally murdered his roommate Angel Melendez.

Incredibly Michael — instead of trying to keep the murder a secret — called many of his friends, boasting about what he had done.

As rumors about the murder circulated, Michael capitalized on his newfound notoriety. “He was a copycat and so we killed him” he joked in an on-camera interview with the film makers before his arrest.

PARTY MONSTER is a collage of a number of different mediums: archival footage that has never been seen before, is complemented by candid interviews with Michael (both before and after his arrest) and others. Dramatic reenactments capture the anarchic energy of its protagonists.

The film provides a unique insider’s perspective that allows the viewer to be sucked into Michael Alig’s weird world. “The club kids themselves sought to live in a cartoon world where the boundaries between fact and fiction were deliberately blurred and confused” says Randy Barbato. “We wanted the audience to experience that same heady feeling of abstraction from reality” adds Fenton Bailey.
Credits

Producers & Directors: Fenton Bailey & Randy Barbato
Co-producer: Maria Silver
Editors: Scott Gamzon, Tim Atzinger
Running Time: 60 minutes

Buy the book: Disco Bloodbath.

Tune for Today: Lizette Lizette Gets Her Party Monster on in “Freak”

Video thumbnail for youtube video Tune for Today: Lizette Lizette Gets Her Party Monster on in "Freak" - World of Wonder

Swedish superstar DJ/songstress Lizette Lizette says the talk show scene in Party Monster was the inspiration for her latest video "Freak," and WOW! It perfectly captures the nuttiness of those '90s-era clubkid-vs-Middle-America appearances. ... Watch Now

The History of Party Monster

Michael Alig and James St James

This past week Michael Alig was released from prison. His longtime friend and WOW Report writer James St James went to document their re-union. Cue a starburst of indignation and instant judgement on social media. Many people think Michael Alig shouldn't ever be let out of jail. Others think it was wrong of us to be filming in the first place. But ... See the Rest

Dear Michael…

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Prisoner #97A6595 aka Michael Alig is officially released from prison today. In honor of that occasion, I thought I'd jot down a few thoughts about life in the new millennia to pass along to him. ... See the Rest

THE DAILY FREAK SHOW: JAMES REUNITES WITH EX-CLUB KID JENNY TALIA

James St James Freakshow

At the World of Wonder Storefront Gallery's final party for the "2 Girls, 1 Gallery" show, James catches up with former club kid and Calvin Klein model Jenny Talia of "Party Monster" fame. James finds out what this "club kid gone good" has been up to, gets the latest on how Michael Alig's been faring in prison, and shares happy memories with Jenny ... See the Rest